It’s 2016, and alumni engagement isn’t what it used to be.
In the past, schools could cold call their alumni with a decent chance of getting a donation. But then again, back in those days tuition was a mere fraction of what it is today.
For better or worse, the needs and expectations are changing, and schools must change along with it in order to stay competitive. Effective ways for schools to engage their alumni include connecting with them on an intimate level, reaching them where they will be receptive, and providing value.
More specifically, this means targeting alumni online, and helping them leverage their alma matter for new connections, events, and opportunities.
While many schools rely heavily on LinkedIn and other passive sources for helping alumni connect, others are realizing that their resources are simply inadequate for delivering alumni the value and networking they crave from their schools.
If schools except to receive donations from alumni, they need to be prepared to offer something in return.
Many schools have started using custom made websites and apps for helping alumni connect. The ones who do are seeing incredibly powerful effects. Here are a few results that we have seen from schools who use technology to connect their alumni:
- Increased engagement
People, especially millennials, are on apps constantly. If a school wants to be effective and strategic in communicating and connecting with their alum, an app is the place to be. However, with so many apps out there with so many different uses, how does a school differentiate itself from the noise? The answer is simple: custom-branded apps. Alumni feel an affinity towards their school, and will be happy to use an app that connects them with other fellow alumni.
- Increased donations
Schools who have found effective ways of engaging their alumni reap the benefits almost immediately. A happy alum is a donating alum. Schools that are helping their alumni connect and find new job opportunities are having a much easier time collecting donations than schools who neglect those procedures
- Increased participation
How can alumni attend events if they don’t know where the events are, when they are, or who’s attending? Without an effective way of uniting and communicating with their alumni, a school’s event planning can all be for nothing. In order to ensure that a good portion of alumni attend events, schools need a way of communicating and connecting alumni. Creating an engaging website or app is an effective way to keep alums in the loop
- Increased mentorship
A big reasons why students choose the school they go to is for mentorship. However, after graduation many alumni have a difficult time finding mentors. Schools who are able to facilitate mentorships between alumni succeed not only in providing direct value to their alumni, but also in raising participation rate and donations for years to come. Thus, by facilitating events, mentorship opportunities, and communication between alumni, schools can embrace the new era of alumni and succeed at achieving their goals.